African Chicken Pie Recipe - A Delicious South African Dish

African Chicken Pie

African Chicken Pie Recipe - A Delicious South African Dish
Region / culture: Africa, South Africa | Preparation time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


African Chicken Pie
African Chicken Pie

African Chicken Pie is a sumptuous and hearty dish that combines the rich flavors of stewed chicken, ham, and spices, all encased in a flaky puff pastry. This recipe is a celebration of African culinary traditions, offering a unique blend of textures and tastes that make it a delightful meal for any occasion. Whether you're looking for a comforting dinner option or a show-stopping dish for a gathering, African Chicken Pie promises to deliver on both flavor and satisfaction.


The origins of African Chicken Pie can be traced back to various regions across the African continent, where pies and pastries have been adapted to include local ingredients and flavors. This particular recipe is a fusion of traditional cooking methods, incorporating spices like allspice and cloves that are reminiscent of African spice blends, and the use of puff pastry, which adds a European influence to the dish. Over time, it has evolved into a beloved recipe in many African households, each adding their own twist to the classic preparation.


How to prepare

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, place the chicken, onion, allspice, cloves, mace, salt, and peppercorns.
  2. Add 3 cups of water and bring everything to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, which should take one to two hours.
  4. Then, place the chicken on a platter to cool.
  5. Strain out the spices and save 3 cups of chicken stock.
  6. Once the chicken has cooled, debone it and cut it into 1-inch pieces, discarding the skin.
  7. Next, prepare the sauce as follows: add wine to the chicken stock, bring it to a boil, and slowly add cream of wheat.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks and lemon juice.
  10. Stir 3 to 4 tbsp of the sauce into the yolks, and then add the yolk mixture to the sauce.
  11. Bring the sauce to a boil for one minute, and then remove it from the heat.
  12. Place 0.5 lb (226 g) of deboned chicken in a baking dish, and scatter chopped ham on top.
  13. Then, place a row of egg slices on top of the ham.
  14. Repeat the previous step, and then pour the sauce over the two layers.
  15. To make the top puff pastry, cut 0.25 lb (113 g) of sweet butter into two cups of flour until it reaches the consistency of pie dough.
  16. Add 4 to 6 tbsp of water and knead it into a ball.
  17. Flour a board and roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, similar to how you would roll out pie dough.
  18. Place the rolled-out dough on top of the baking dish and pinch the edges.
  19. Brush the top with a mixture of water and egg.
  20. Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F (177°C) and bake for an additional 45 minutes.


  • There are many ways to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken and ham with a mix of mushrooms and lentils. You can also experiment with different spices or add vegetables like peas or carrots to the filling for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • For a twist on the classic recipe, try adding vegetables like peas, carrots, or sweet potatoes to the filling. You can also experiment with different spices or use turkey instead of chicken for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the chicken is tender and flavorful, simmer it slowly with the spices as directed. This not only infuses the meat with aromatic flavors but also results in a broth that is rich and full-bodied, perfect for creating the sauce. When making the puff pastry, keep all ingredients as cold as possible to achieve a flaky texture. Additionally, brushing the pastry with a mixture of water and egg before baking will give it a beautiful golden finish.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the African Chicken Pie hot, directly from the oven, for the best taste and texture. It can be accompanied by a light salad or steamed vegetables to balance the richness of the pie.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe include simmering the chicken with spices to create a flavorful broth, thickening the sauce with cream of wheat, and preparing puff pastry for the crust. Mastering these techniques will ensure a delicious and visually appealing dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If puff pastry is not available, you can use phyllo dough for a lighter crust. For a gluten-free option, substitute the flour and cream of wheat with gluten-free alternatives. Vegetarians can replace the chicken and ham with a mix of mushrooms and lentils.

Make Ahead Tips

The chicken and sauce can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Assemble the pie with the puff pastry just before baking to ensure the crust remains flaky and crisp.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, garnish the baked pie with fresh herbs like parsley or thyme. A drizzle of reduced chicken broth around the pie can also enhance its visual appeal and add an extra layer of flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

African Chicken Pie pairs well with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. The acidity of the wine complements the richness of the pie, making for a balanced dining experience.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (177°C) until thoroughly warmed. Avoid microwaving, as it can make the pastry soggy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of African Chicken Pie contains approximately 600 calories. The calories are derived from a combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, making this dish a hearty and fulfilling meal option.


Each serving of African Chicken Pie contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this dish are the cream of wheat used in the sauce and the flour in the puff pastry. These ingredients provide the body with energy and are an essential part of a balanced diet.


This dish is relatively high in fats, with each serving containing about 35 grams of fat. The fats come from the butter in the puff pastry, the egg yolks, and the ham. While fats are an important part of the diet, providing flavor and helping the body absorb vitamins, it's beneficial to consume them in moderation.


African Chicken Pie is a good source of protein, with each serving offering approximately 30 grams. The proteins in this dish come from the chicken, ham, and egg yolks, contributing to muscle growth and repair.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A from the egg yolks, Vitamin C from the lemon juice, and iron from the chicken and ham. These nutrients play vital roles in maintaining healthy vision, immune function, and red blood cell production.


Common allergens in this recipe include gluten (from the flour and cream of wheat), dairy (from the butter), and eggs. Individuals with food allergies or sensitivities should take these ingredients into account.


African Chicken Pie is a nutrient-rich dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, due to its calorie and fat content, it's best enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


African Chicken Pie is a rich and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, ham, and a creamy sauce encased in a flaky puff pastry. With its roots in African culinary traditions, this pie is a testament to the continent's rich culinary heritage. By following the tips and variations provided, you can create a memorable meal that celebrates the flavors and textures of this beloved recipe.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a happy one. It was many years ago when I was visiting my friend Sarah in Africa. She invited me over for dinner one evening and served me the most delicious chicken pie I had ever tasted. I begged her for the recipe, and she graciously shared it with me.

The first thing Sarah told me was that the key to making a truly authentic African chicken pie was in the spices. She explained that the combination of coriander, cumin, and paprika gave the dish its unique flavor. I scribbled down the ingredients and instructions in my notebook, eager to recreate the dish in my own kitchen.

Back home, I gathered all the necessary ingredients and got to work. I started by marinating the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and the spices Sarah had told me about. While the chicken was marinating, I prepared the vegetables – carrots, peas, and potatoes – that would go into the filling.

Once the chicken was ready, I sautéed it in a pan until it was cooked through and golden brown. I then added the vegetables and let them cook until they were tender. The smell that filled my kitchen was incredible – the warm, spicy aromas of the coriander and cumin mixed with the savory scent of the chicken.

Next, I rolled out the pastry dough and lined a pie dish with it. I poured the chicken and vegetable mixture into the dish and covered it with another layer of pastry, sealing the edges tightly. I brushed the top with an egg wash and popped the pie into the oven to bake.

As the pie baked, the smell grew even more tantalizing. I could hardly wait for it to be done so I could slice into it and taste the fruits of my labor. Finally, the timer dinged, and I pulled the pie out of the oven. The crust was golden and flaky, and the filling bubbled up invitingly.

I carefully cut into the pie and served myself a generous slice. The first bite was pure bliss – the tender chicken, the flavorful vegetables, and the perfectly spiced sauce all came together in a symphony of flavors. I couldn't believe I had made something so delicious.

From that day on, African chicken pie became a staple in my cooking repertoire. I made it for family gatherings, potlucks with friends, and any time I wanted to treat myself to a comforting and satisfying meal. Each time I made it, I thought of Sarah and the warm memories of that evening in Africa.

Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe here and there, adding my own personal touches and experimenting with different variations. Sometimes I add a bit of coconut milk for a creamier texture, or throw in some diced tomatoes for a burst of freshness. But no matter how I choose to make it, the essence of the dish – the rich spices, the tender chicken, the flaky crust – always remains the same.

I have shared the recipe with countless friends and family members, all of whom have fallen in love with it just as I did. It brings me such joy to see others enjoying something that has brought me so much happiness over the years.

As I sit here now, writing out this recipe for others to enjoy, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences and people that have brought this dish into my life. Cooking has always been a source of comfort and creativity for me, and this African chicken pie is a shining example of why I love it so much.

I hope that whoever tries this recipe finds as much joy and satisfaction in making and eating it as I have. May it bring warmth and happiness to your kitchen, just as it has to mine. Bon appétit!


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